Wondering what you're doing that comes across wrong to others without your even knowing? We all know how important body language is when analyzing our relationships with others, as our bodies and the way they move in space often say more about us than our words do.
But there are three body language mistakes we consistently make that turn people off from thinking we're professional. Check your own body language and see if you're making them too.
1. Bad eye contact.
In general, women possess a wider-ranging peripheral vision than men. This allows a woman to check out others from head to toe without moving her head. A man, however, with his poorer peripheral vision on average, has to move his head up and down when taking in the full figure of someone else. This action is often considered to be unprofessional behavior. Next time you're checking someone out, make sure you watch what your head is doing.
2. Not paying attention.
Even though all of us get a little spacy every now and then, not paying attention--especially while someone is talking--really comes across as unprofessional (and uncaring). If you find yourself zoning out in a meeting, you might notice small physical actions that accompany your mental checking-out, like foot kicking or partial, indifferent shrugging. When your body begins looking for entertainment by engaging in mindless activity, or your eyes appear blank and listless, know that you're sending out the message loud and clear that you don't care what the other person has to say.
Research has shown that whatever we're feeling--whether it is positive or negative emotion--shows up immediately in our bodies, and later in our conscious minds. If for some reason you're feeling down, discouraged, or defeated, your body will show it before you even register it. Next time, strike a "power pose" to counteract this movement, like standing up straight or spreading your legs wide to gain more confidence and positive energy. The people who might think you're feeling down will definitely take note as well.